Last Chance Sale!

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on

Dear soft hearts, this will be a quick post from me this week. This is your last chance and we have one more slot for you to get adjunct EMDR therapy through our EMDR Retreat Sale.

If you’ve been working with your therapist and still don’t feel better about something or you just can’t walk through something, I invite you to consider working with me as an adjunct EMDR therapist. The EMDR Retreat Sale gives you a chance to target that sticky spot for you in therapy.

I’ll give you an example. I witnessed someone being followed and while my partner and I intervened I carried guilt and fear that nothing happened to the guy following this woman. My mind kept replaying the incident and I worried about how I could find the guy. I couldn’t and the police didn’t do anything since we stopped the incident from happening. I was fearful walking from then on. While I did strategies to walk through, talk through or even move it through my body nothing worked like EMDR. I feel comfortable walking around in a way I couldn’t before EMDR. Oh, by the way, walking is my favorite movement! I’m so forever grateful for EMDR and I can’t wait to share it with you too!

When someone conducted a brief a targeted EMDR set of sessions on me (just a few hours and about an hour of touch up work) I literally have no charge in my heart space about the issue. I get that this incident was pretty straight forward, but just a few hours of anchoring in this moment and then reprocessing allowed my brain to literally reprocess the issue in a way talking never did. I was hooked! Every one is different, but if you feel this may be helpful for you this is your last chance to get it at a better deal than I’ll ever be able to offer again (well unless I win the lotto that I don’t play haha).

If you’d like to get started let’s connect here.

EMDR Dissociation & Grounding

Photo by Kevin Malik on

Soft hearts, you may have read my article on zoning out, how to assess for it and what to do. I frequently send this article to patients getting started with EMDR so they can take the quiz to spot or notice their zone out or dissociation moments and then gain some tools to get their parasympathetic nervous system on board. Since writing the article I’ve come across some amazing tools that I can’t wait to share with you.

So if you haven’t yet please take the DES so you can get an idea of how much you’re here in body, but not present in mind or spirit. When you take the assessment (which can be found at the article I mentioned) please be so gentle. I understand our zoning out or not being totally in our bodies to be a protective measure. If you find yourself dissociating please send yourself gentleness by speaking to yourself kindly or understanding this dissociation as a protection.

Next, take a while to notice when you spot the dissociation arising. You may not notice it in the moment, but even noticing these zone out moments afterward can be a great beginning step. Sometimes simply having clients take the assessment and then notice when they catch themselves dissociating is helpful. There’s often nothing more to do than log this psychoeducation or information in our minds and notice when it happens. So often labeling or noticing what’s up can be the most helpful thing. It can also help to learn that it’s an actual thing and that nothing is deep down wrong with you for dissociating. It’s not your fault and it’s just a protection.

Okay now that you’ve assessed for it and noticed it I’d recommend one more thing. Get your parasympathetic nervous system on board. If you notice the dissociation and you’d like to get more in the moment then you can actually do a couple of things to get here and now:

  1. Take a breath in for four seconds. Breath out for six. Breathing in and then breathing out longer can slow the heart rate down and get your parasympathetic nervous system here with you. It can actually calm us down so we can be present in our bodies. Try a few breaths in for four and out for six and see how you feel.
  2. Put something cold on your heart. Seriously. You can put aa cold compress or even your cold hand over your heart. This can bring your parasympathetic nervous system on board. When I first learned of this tip I felt so excited because I’d naturally found it so soothing when I’d put my cold hand over my heart in times of distress or anxiety.

Well that’s all for this week’s EMDR info! I can’t wait for one more EMDR tip with you next week. If you’d like to get started with me now or you can’t wait to do therapy together then jump over here so we can get started!

EMDR Costs

Soft hearts, thanks for sticking with a month of EMDR tips and info! I want to share with you a few ways you can access EMDR therapy and some costs you may expect.

Accessing EMDR Therapy

As far as accessing therapy you can go Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing International Association (EMDRIA) to find an EMDR therapist throughout the world.

You could go to to Open Path Collective to find a relatively affordable EMDR therapist and it may take some searching and lots of filtering and patience.

You may also be able to ask people who you know have gone to EMDR for their therapist’s name. “Word of mouth” or searching for a therapist based on what someone else says has been fruitful for them can give you direct info. You may still have to wait or deal with insurance reimbursement or access issues, but sometimes asking a friend what worked for them can lead you to a good fit therapist who will do EMDR therapy with you too.

What to Expect

Above is a video that will give you a little information about EMDR intensives. You can expect a focused series of sessions to help you unstick from what you’re feeling stuck with and to help free up blocks.

As far as prices go you can expect to pay any range of costs. You may have to pay a co-pay or you may be paying from your credit card/check/cash or what they call “out-of-pocket.” Here’s an article to explain ways to get therapy for relatively decent costs. In California and Florida (where I’m licensed) I see EMDR therapists charging anywhere from $125 to $600 per session, but this ranges a lot from state to state and country to country. These prices will also likely increase over the years. The cost of EMDR therapy can also depend on a number of other factors such as specialization of the EMDR therapist, etc. Basically, there’s not much to expect when it comes to price. What may be more helpful is figuring out what you can pay before you do your search.

Budgeting for therapy can help you decide before you even go to free consultations. If you know you have $120 a month for therapy you’re going to want to start with student clinics in your area, Open Path Collective, and if you have insurance you’ll want to see how much your co-pay is with them.

For example, if you have $1,000 per month allocated for therapy then you can search for EMDR therapy that’s about $250/session.

Last Chance at EMDR Adjunct Therapy Sale

Folks can get adjunct EMDR therapy with me for 70% off! Adjunct services mean I work with you and your therapist while we get you to your best self with less trauma triggers and intensity in your heart space. This type of therapy can accelerate your treatment and support your ongoing treatment or target a specific area more quickly than long periods of talk therapy. Here’s more about adjunct services.

I’m offering you a one-on-one virtual EMDR retreat with a one hour EMDR goal setting appointment where we focus on you and your dreams and six hours of EMDR therapy. Your EMDR retreat sale secures a premium weekend slot. You’ll also have a specialized EMDR workbook and guided meditation recording.

This seven hour EMDR retreat package is more than 70% off. Your sale price is $500 total (original price is $2,100). Please reach out today for your last chance at the getting your EMDR therapy at a sale price for new clients in January (2023 for new clients)! Connect here for a free consultation ❤

EMDR Positive Cognition

Photo by on

Soft hearts, we discussed EMDR negative cognition last week. Now I’d like to talk about the EMDR positive cognition. Basically, we are supporting you to identify what you want to welcome in. If we go back to my eating/body stuff example from last week we might ask the person (me) to identify what they want in place of the negative cognition. If the person believes an anxiety or trauma experience is their fault or that they are responsible or if the client feels innately unworthy, we’d work with them to identify what the positive thing about themselves is that they’d like to believe.

It can be a little hard to get people to stretch in this way. I like to ask people to dream their biggest dream. I ask them if they didn’t have this stuckness or if they didn’t feel this sadness about themself, what would they believe about themself? I support them in exploring how they might like to show up in the world. Their positive belief might be that they tried their best during the traumatic incident or that it wasn’t their fault what happened to them. In the case of the diet culture/body image stuff I’d say what I’d love to welcome in or invite in as my EMDR positive cognition is that I am whole and worthy. Wow. I am whole and worthy! Well that sure feels pretty true, but I’m still struggling with societal pressures and generations of how a woman’s body is “supposed to be.”

Guess what you are whole and worthy too! I am excited to learn more about whatever you desire to take place of or grow after you lessen your anxiety or trauma through EMDR therapy. What do you welcome more of in your life? What’s your EMDR positive cognition and how much do you believe it today? Tell me more about how you’d love to feel about yourself in your free consultation.

EMDR Negative Cognition

Photo by Daniel Torobekov on

Soft hearts, you’ve heard me mention Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy a lot in these blog articles and on our podcast. Basically, EMDR therapy is a tried and true strategy to help people feel more in command of their lives. EMDR can help you reduce blocks to your success, feel better about yourself, reduce trauma, or release old patterns. EMDR therapy has been helpful for people with medical trauma, war trauma, eating disorders, anxiety and so much more. Today I’d like to get into the root of the problem with the EMDR negative cognition.

The EMDR negative cognition is something you’ll uncover with your therapist. When I work with clients to name a point that’s hard for them, like a stuck point in therapy we are taking breaks to relax and calm them. It can be hard to think of what feels stuck for them! When we identify what’s hard for them or a stuck point in their therapy process I then ask them to identify a memory that represents the worst part of this experience. For example, if I were to say a stuck point of mine is this limbo place I feel between diet culture and eating disorder recovery I would link it back to many memories of being told my body was less than other girls who were in smaller bodies than I. In EMDR therapy we’d pick one particular incident or memory or the overarching experience of people saying or doing hurtful things around my size.

Then we’d help them to identify the EMDR negative cognition that goes with this memory. This would be the root of the tree of the overall issue. If we go with the eating/body issue I’m using as an example you might hear me identify an old story of feeling not good enough. Some people might identify their root of the problem to be blame/shame, devaluing themself, not being able to get what they need, over responsibility, or not being able to take up space. These old stories or the roots of our problem are the EMDR negative cognition.

Once we identify the stuck issue for you in therapy we have you notice what you feel about yourself when you recall the worst part of this memory so you can name it and recover from it. Once we identify this root we come back to it and see how true it is for you as you reprocess using EMDR. Some people may quickly spot that their EMDR negative cognition is “I’m to blame” or “I’m unworthy” while others may not really know what’s at the root of the incident. It’s very understandable to use the help of your EMDR therapist to have them help you try a few on. Some people may start with one EMDR negative cognition only to find another seems to be more linked to the trauma or anxiety they are working on.

There’s really a lot we can do once we know what’s going on. Once you know what you’re dealing with, what’s at the root of your stuckness, there’s an abundance of healing possible. I am so excited to apply some EMDR therapy to some of the eating/body stuff I shared with you here today. Where are you stuck in your healing? If you’d like to get to the root of your problems for more healing reach out to me today and we can set up your free consultation!

Closing Out Your Therapy

Photo by Shadman on

As we approach the end of the year there are some folks who may be wondering how to close out their therapy sessions because they’re running out of benefits, coverage, or simply coming to a close with their therapy sessions. It can be hard to close therapy out. Goodbye to therapy sessions has been difficult for as long as I can remember doing therapy. I use to ask my supervisors how one could close out therapy sessions in a kind way and I’ve heard everything under the sun.

It’s so important that however we handle therapy termination the client is involved throughout the process. We really want to leave as much time as possible to prepare someone for these conversations and closing activities. Often times when the ending is decided on collaboratively then the client knows it’s coming and can address their concerns, feelings or just generally have time to chew on the ending with their therapist.

The most helpful advice comes from Dr. Dowtin at PlayfulLeigh Psyched who suggests preparing therapy to close well in advance and to have a closure activity. One of my all time favorite activities was decorating a picture together so they could keep it, frame it, etc. I have several cards and sweet notes from children and families I served in various areas in the US (with their names removed of course because HIPAA). I too have written letters to clients thanking them, highlighting special moments in therapy or their growth, and honoring the transition as we close their time in therapy. You can write a letter, choose a special song, or do some other closing activity to signify this time together and the client’s journey. Sometimes people will feel a closure activity could be as simple, but powerful as highlighting all you’ve done in therapy.

That’s actually my favorite part of completing therapy with a client; reflecting on their gains. I love mirroring where they started and where they are now. I love seeing them fulfilled with their efforts and the support they got and gave themself. It’s even more special to me when a client can reflect on these gains themself. I’m happy to do it for them because I know it’s not always easy to see where we’ve changed, but it’s so great when people tell me “when I started, I never could’ve figured out how I was feeling, let alone tell my mom” or “I’ve come so far and now have open communication with my partner”! Wow do I love to hear people make these changes.

And sometimes there aren’t magical shifts and a person desires a different type of therapy or fit. That’s okay and can be honored too. Several people come to me after working with several therapists who weren’t welcoming around their intersecting identities. I know we assume therapists should be inclusive, but so many are not. For some therapists they simply don’t specialize in something you need like if they work with anxiety but not trauma, you may need to start working with a trauma specialist. It’s important to know why you’re closing therapy with one provider so you can be sure to get what you need in the next therapy relationship.

Please also get appropriate referrals from your community or therapist. Your therapist may even be willing to stand by for a few weeks or month while you reach out, attend free 15 minute therapy consultations and find a good fit therapist for your needs. They don’t have to, but you can totally ask them to hang out for a short while so you can secure a new therapist.

Whether you’ve graduated from this type of therapy and are ready to level up to a different type of therapy, need a break from therapy while your benefits come in, or are simply done with therapy I honor the work you’ve done. I honor your trauma recovery. I honor you and your therapeutic journey.

Handling Stress During the Holidays With Your Family

Photo by Yan Krukov on

We have a couple of episodes out on Breaking the Couch to support you through the holidays. If you’re spending time with loved ones, chosen family, or family of origin I want you to know there are totally ways to get support in and between sessions. We discuss ways to handle the holidays with grace and maybe even some fun.

In addition, I think some of the best ways to bolster up our inner relaxation and tuning in are the following:



Playlist for or from your inner child

Check in with a friend

Hey, we can keep doing what we’ve often done and sort of numb out to plow through the holidays or pretend that we’re a Hallmark movie family, or we can get in touch with what we need and bolster up our inner and external supports.

Check out one of our holiday podcast episodes for tips from your trauma therapists:

Wishing you and whoever you love a special time this year. See you next week for more supportive chats!

How to Get Therapy for Cheap (Relatively)

Photo by Ike louie Natividad on

Let me just say I truly wish the government would stop allocating taxes for war and start putting all of that money to good use, for your therapy. Yours, mine, everyone’s! Now that I’ve said what I truly believe I can share more about ways one can get access to therapy when they aren’t independently wealthy.

If you have insurance you can call and explain that you have a medical necessity for therapy services and ask for a list of in-network providers. If they don’t have an in-network provider, but would reimburse you for services with an out-of-network provider you can find out exactly what they would reimburse you. You can ask what percentage they’ll reimburse you if you go out of network and get the instructions for reimbursement sent directly to you or jot them down as you discuss your insurance company’s reimbursement process. Some people also ask about how their health spending account (HSA) can help out with therapy costs. I always encourage people to get this stuff in writing or get specific instructions since things change and because I’ve seen several folks struggle with reimbursement and I have no say in or responsibility around what paperwork is submitted or what someone is reimbursed.

I’d also check with speciality clinics you may be involved in. For example, I’ve worked on rotations or in clinics supporting people with cancer, spinal cord injury, and so on and provided people therapy for short-term services or services that are covered in one way or another through the person’s clinic. If you’re part of a clinic for your overall healthcare please be sure to see if they have a therapist or psychologist who you can be referred to for therapy.

Now if you’re under insured or not insured there are some options too. My favorite option for folks who are not insured is Open Path Collective. Folks can search for a therapist currently accepting clients, register for a one-time fee of $59, and then pay weekly session fees of $30-$60. There are incredible therapists on Open Path Collective and patients can find someone who really wants to contribute to the collective and offer 1 or more sliding scale slots (which means a lower fee for you).

For clients who are BIPOC or part of other marginalized communities I strongly recommend seeking therapy scholarships. There are some therapy scholarships available that can be found at Inclusive Therapists, Black Girls Smile or funds that pay a certain amount per session such as the The Loveland Fund or Mental Health Fund. There are also individual therapists or small group practices (such as this one with slots available at $60/session) or community or training clinics that sometimes offer a therapy scholarship or lower fee options.

Things I Want You To Consider

  1. Most clinicians won’t be able to tell you how many sessions it takes to get to what you’re working toward. However, you can ask how many sessions they can provide you services at the fee they’re offering. Can they offer you eight sessions at this lower rate? Can they offer three months on their sliding scale? Try to get an idea of what capacity they have so you know how much time you have to get to the things you want to get to and so you can plan your next steps.
  2. Consider costs outside of the session to help you decide how much you’ll need to budget. For example, do you need to travel to get to session or better internet access? If so, how much is public transportation for your travels, costs of gas and parking, etc.? What other costs can you account for? What else do you need to budget in to set yourself up for success with starting or reengaging in therapy?

This is a more than frustrating process and I’m really sorry our field has all the praise of being helpful, but none of the support it needs to provide accessible, sustainable and quality mental health care for the masses. I hope the few suggestions above will be somewhat helpful with the understanding that it may take a long time and lots of “no’s” before you find someone who still has an opening or who is a good fit for your needs. If you need someone who is queer or trans affirming, uses your primary language, or fits another need it can be that much smaller of a pool to search from. Please be gentle with yourself as you search and know that there are a few supports while you seek your therapeutic fit including Trans Lifeline or 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You are so worthy of getting the care you need and desire. Wishing you a speedy and good therapeutic fit for your needs!

Your Inner Child

Photo by PNW Production on

One part of me is so excited to share more with you about your inner child. Another part of me feels tired from a cold and balancing that with helping someone with their COVID. Both have room in my heart. Your inner child or inner children are components within that have parts of you feeling one way and other parts of you feeling another way, all at the same time. It sounds more complicated than it really is because it’s really just various parts of us within one body. Another great example is how a part of us may have hurt feelings from a friend criticism, while another part of us doesn’t want to be a “baby.” (First of all, babies are pretty tough, coming out into the world after about 9.5 months of cozy protection!).

Mainly, the part who is hurt may be a triggered inner child who is being reminded of an experience or sensation from before. The part who is criticizing ourselves for being a “baby” may be a protector part trying to protect the hurt inner child’s feelings from getting too much, being abandoned by the friend, etc. Once we get acquainted with our well meaning protectors and create a daily channel with our inner children we can have endless amounts of freedom from trauma points passed down to us or from our own traumatic experiences.

When my patients are trying to get acquainted with their parts I love to share a few free resources. I’d love to share these intros to your inner child here in this blog today too!

You can check out our explanation of the inner child in the Breaking the Couch podcast episode with Dr. Dowtin.

You can find Dr. Schwartz’s free meditation here (who also created internal family systems and wrote No Bad Parts). Another free meditation that’s gender inclusive can be found here. I generally prefer to do breathwork or a meditation that speaks to a protector part such as this acknowledging anger meditation by Dr. Dowtin of PlayfulLeigh Psyched in order to relax and meet with the parts of me that need to be heard.

For example, I greet my parts every morning (anywhere from 2 minutes to about an hour) and I see if they want to share anything with me. Sometimes our parts just need a hug. Other times parts of me just want to know I’m listening and no longer abandon them to be liked, loved or seen. I know it sounds funny, but when I integrate parts work with eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) in therapy with patients it feels incredible to see the gains patients make. We can even access more compassion by asking clients to bring in a picture of little them. We can send love and kind words to little them.

Parts work is not only attributed to internal family systems (IFS), but has been acknowledged by people across cultures and time. Long before we began using components of IFS in therapy people were acknowledging parts of themselves in healing ways and loving on their inner child. Today, we have several free podcasts and meditations to access and love on our inner family system. I can’t wait to learn how this inner child healing work supports your trauma recovery and I hope this week’s blog can be helpful for your healing journey.

When Did You Start Expressing Your Boundaries?

Photo by cottonbro studio on

What are Boundaries Anyway?

The best understanding of boundaries that I’ve seen was explained by Prentis Hemphill who explained that they believe “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” A great explanation of boundaries about their famous and comprehensive explanation of boundaries from a place of love can be seen in this video.

Boundaries Before Therapy

It’s funny because I was thinking about when I first began therapy and various programs and starting to assert boundaries. I began talking about how I felt for one of the first times in my life and noticed how much it differed from the way I was being in the world. I started to change relationships and the way I showed up. I would even share with people when I needed something. It was profound, scary and different than what I’d seen. It was a clear difference from how I showed up in the world before I began therapy and healing programs.

But I think my boundary journey began long before I had a clearer channel with my feelings and expressing my needs. I could actually recall a time in high school when I actually began my boundary journey.

One of my first attempts at a boundary was when people my old bullies wanted to hang out and pretend they never hurt me in the past. Well a little background on this is that I’ve gone up and down with my size throughout my life and honestly continue with this ever growing relationship with my body (diet mentality, social pressures, cultural messages and so on), and when I went from bullying names regarding my size to what the bullies thought was an acceptable size the bullies forgot that I was the same girl they bullied for years. Verbal and physical hits from my bullies never led me to think that one day they’d think I was “cool” and would talk to me or even invite me to spend time with them. I was shocked and told them I’m the same one they hurt for years.

You can learn more about the story here where Dr. Dowtin and I explore the beginning stories of boundaries. The podcast episode even has a great boundary exercise that Dr. Dowtin tailored just for you.

Honoring You

I want to thank and honor your younger selves within for setting boundaries long before you may have even realized it. I’m proud of you and thank you for coming together to see our initial stages of our boundary stories.

%d bloggers like this: